Archive for February, 2016

ommgot3erSpring is coming.
Winter is a technicality. It hit the mid-6o’s here in Baltimore today and I figured I better get the last of the winter in now. Thus, I cracked open this dark saison from Ommegang. Coincidentally, this particular bottle was packaged on February 22, 2015—a year and six days ago. Ommegang first released these beers to coincide with seasons of the Game of Thrones TV series, but this one comes to me late. To be fair, it was colder this time last year and it is always a bit colder up in Cooperstown where this is brewed, so this would be a pretty good late-winter beer as a matter of style.Now, I know this beer pretty well.

Always a fan of Ommegang, I brought this in on draft for our growler program in the store I worked in when it was first released in the winter of late-2014/early-2015. I remember liking it a lot more then. Perhaps it was simply the newness of it back then. Perhaps it was colder (the beer this time, not the weather) as, today, I am pouring this five-ten degrees warmer than I should be per bottle instructions. Perhaps it was the wonder of draft presentation. Whatever the case, it is solid and inoffensive, if not particularly engaging.

Poured from a cork & cage finished 750mL bottle.
Lots of billowy tan head with a deep walnut color. The nose is decidedly high-toned—almost orange zest—with fresh rye bread and toned-down cinnamon/nutmeg aromas. These character are reflected on the palate along with licorice, pecan, and finishing with slightly astringent dark-roasted coffee. Acid is high (as expected from a saison) but tinged in a acidic coffee kind of way. Perhaps due to its temperature, it is showing a hard metallic edge, too. None of these perceived negatives undo the beer, though. It is just fine and there is nothing particularly off-putting. It is simply solid and that’s about the best I can say about it.

I have noticed my tastes changing toward lighter, crisper styles of late and I am drinking this by itself when it begs for food. But on a cold winter day with a plate of barbecued ribs or a hearty root vegetable stew, this would hit the spot. I just might be more inclined to share this one than others.

A Bold Return to the New

Hello, long-lost friends and new contacts!

The drinktuition blog took a hiatus as life and rapid-fire changes in plan got in the way. Today marks a rebirth of my blog now aligned with the exciting foundation of my consulting business of the same name.

Here’s a snapshot of what my business is really about:

The drinks industry can be a daunting web of regulations, purchasing decisions, inventory management, staff training, marketing, and whatever else is thrown at you. drinktuition aims to demystify, simplify, and fun-ify the business you thought you were getting into.

As a consultancy, drinktuition will provide services that make simply doing business more efficient, better-targeted, and just plain easier to on-and off-premise accounts across Maryland—even Montgomery County! A unique perspective and strong contacts and friendships across all angles of this industry make drinktuition‘s services far-reaching and unlike anything anyone else an offer.

One of the main premises of drinktuition is to get small-to-medium retailers to lose the insular, proprietary mindset borne of, at best, uncertainty and, at worst, outright fear that is ultimately serving to make them compete against themselves. Many came into their business with no prior knowledge of the industry or insufficient understanding of all the angles. Many of them are so wary of what everyone else is doing that they chose to compete on things—product and mind-share—that they simply don’t need to. There is so much wonderful, viable product available and so many different ways of approaching your business that, for example, everyone can have their own identity without worrying about underselling the next little shop down the street by pennies on national brands while the big players and chains eat them alive on that model. Your business is in your control and the only thing you can control. Don’t just own it—OWN IT!  drinktuition will help you find the best way to reach the customers you want while alleviating the compulsion to care about what your “competitors” are doing. will serve as a community for independent thinkers from all aspects of the industry—retail, restaurant, bar, distributor, supplier, and producer—to share ideas and experiences that will help make your business easier to manage, stronger, more profitable, and(most importantly) fun!

Eventually, this blog will be an integral part of my website which will also serve as a community hub for wine/beer/spirit licensees in Maryland.

But, not to worry—the primary thrust of the blog will be the same, acting as a soap-box for all my quibbles with industry at-large as well as my ongoing drink experiences. Only now, more people will be actively involved in the discussion.

Thanks for sticking with me!

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